Monday, 28 June 2010

Why is there such a massive taboo on waxing your vag?!

I wax, down there, regularly.

I can’t be arsed with trying those creams and shaving in the shower seems a monumental waste of time. The ‘experts’ in the glossies tell me that I should be exfoliating and massaging my cellulite-addled thighs in the shower to render my legs worthy of a footwear campaign with this ‘increased bloodflow’. To date, I am yet to see these fabulous results.

I digress.

I think I can count myself, with some certainty, in the minority of women who actually enjoy waxing.

There’s something about the feeling of warm wax, a little too hot for comfort, before that familiar dull tug that I quite… like.

Just after my 15th birthday, I had my first waxing experience. Nothing too sensitive, just a leg waxing. This was, by point of reference, before my first kiss.

Immediately, I was hooked. No longer did my money get spent on magazines and cheap make-up every Saturday ‘daan shops, innit’ but was piled up and handed over, sore but pleased, once a month as I was waxed from the nose down.

Perhaps it’s from the agonisingly slow-growing hair on my head and a lifelong hatred of my bodily hair that I have this, frankly, near-masochist enjoyment of its removal.

But this doesn’t account for the taboo that other women of my acquaintance seem to have with the subject. ‘Ugh, no, why you would want someone down there, looking?!’ they cry. ‘Doesn’t it hurt?’

Recently, I concluded that at 21 years old more Beauty Therapists have seen me in the buff than men, though, understandably with quite different intentions.

Whilst we’re on the subject, I’m not quite sure how I’d react if I was ready to go and the chap called a Time Out before busting a waxing kit out of a leather travel bag - complete with electric heating pot - asking ‘and parting the legs, please’.

This is either praise worthy, or a downright shame. Again, I digress.

Considering the nature of women and pubic hair waxing, there is the undeniable fact that if you get yourself a Hollywood (the one where you crash in through the salon doors and cry ‘take it off. It ALL off - it’s a BEAST’), then you could potentially run the risk of looking like a prepubescent girl. However, I am not going to bludgeon my way to some point that doesn’t need re-establishing. It’s your choice of how much or little you wax off.

And then there’s the professional swimmers. My old waxer had plenty of swimmers coming in regularly for a Hollywood. ‘To be fair’, she said (a typical Welsh prefix to any statement), ‘it’s pretty [unsightly], especially in skin-tight bathers’. This, of course, was said whilst she was waxing my own unsightly lady garden - and I certainly wasn’t going swimming any time soon.

I am not here to tell you whether to get a Bikini, a Brazilian (also known as the ‘landing strip’ - which I can only presume is a visually-associated nickname, rather than a directional aid) or a Hollywood wax.

I am here to say, simply, it’s completely okay and perfectly normal to have your flange waxed by a professional.

Humbly I offer this advice to those protesting, uninformed women:

1. These Beauty Therapists have seen a vag. They’ve seen their own, invariably their colleagues’ - at my local salon the therapists freely told me that they ‘do each other’ - and plenty of clients’ before you. The whole thing becomes clinical. In fact, if you find a salon you like (and are able to regularly attend without taking a cross-Atlantic trip to get there again) then you should build up a comfortable relationship with your waxer.

So, in my case, after 2 year’s loyalty to one salon, you’ll be discussing the merits of being completely shit-faced when meeting The Boyfriend’s family vs. avoiding the whole shebang altogether, all whilst you’re being de-haired.

2. Take PAINKILLERS. The looks of shock I get when I offer this advice are innumerable. ‘Oh. You can do that?’

Yes. You can. Take that message, and spread it about like a thick layer of lemon curd on a crumpet. Take paracetamol before you go in, ibuprofen an hour or two to deal with any swelling afterwards (if you’re new to the whole thing), and feel completely at liberty to smother yourself with aftersun. It’s a damn sight cheaper than ‘cooling cream’, complete with extracts of cucumber and some exotic sounding plant that belongs in thai curry.

3. You can, of course, do home wax jobs. It might be slightly cheaper, but it’s a hell of a lot more painful, time consuming and certainly more effort than lying back and thinking of the Motherland.

4. Finally, a plea from the multitude of Therapists. Get involved. You will not get a satisfactory wax if you lie there, knickers on, tighter than that corset Dita Von Teese wore during the Germany entry of Eurovision 2009. Get your knickers off, ask where to stretch. Leave your inhibitions at the locked door.

I can guarantee that it will hurt less if you’re concentrating on stretching the skin, rather than the sound of ‘strriiiip’. If you’re in charge of pulling the skin taut, you’re in charge of how much it’ll sting.

Now go. Set aside your creams and razors and let your vag grow free, get active during your wax and enjoy four weeks of silky smooth skin.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Notes on a potential scandal - but probably not

This week, I’m investigating the supply chain of the maxi dress I bought from Nefertiti Fashions, a shop based in Swansea, on Thursday, in time for an evening's socialising on the Friday.

I have got my hacker hat on, so to speak.

The dress sported the label ‘Stella’. From 50 pages of hits from Google, I cannot locate the company ‘Stella’ - there were 5 ‘Stella’ clothing returning hits, but they did not match the font and style of the logo, and I couldn’t find the dress in their online catalogues.

I returned to the shop over the weekend, and spoke to the shop assistant, who replied with some hostility, ‘what do you want to know that for?!’ I replied that I felt that every consumer has the right to know where their garments are sourced, and I would like to know where they bought the ‘Stella’ line from.

I was told, with some alarm, that the owner did the buying, and I was refused contact details - ‘we don’t give them out, sorry’ and bluntly told that I wouldn’t be contacted if I should leave my details.

Luckily, my partner boyfriend spotted a certificate with the name ‘Perrix Wholesale Ltd’ mounted upon the wall behind the cashier's desk. The search results were slightly more fruitful than the last - certainly less disheartening. Perrix do not appear to have a website, but there are several Company Directories the pointed me to their Head Office in Cardiff, and a good deal of hits returned in non-English languages.

At this stage, I wonder two things: is 'Stella' a clothing line from an unnamed company, and is Perrix Wholesale Ltd owned by a parent company, accounting for the absence of a 'company website'? (Though, this isn't an exhaustive conclusion - Topshop, Miss Selfridge et. al. have their own websites, despite being owned by Arcadia Group.)

For now, I’ve got a friend who works for parliament researching consumer rights, textile trade in the EU and the freedom of information act to see whether I can establish some kind of legal counter response if/when I’m refused details.

This is could, ultimately, lead nowhere but the shop assistant’s alarm and guarded attitude to the whole situation has, naturally, raised my interest. There could be another blog to follow shortly with some answers, but equally, there could not.